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Controlling behaviour

Table 4.5 shows that the number of controls that husbands impose on their wives significantly affects the predicted probabilities of their wives being abused emotionally and physically. When husbands did not impose any controls, wives were predicted to have a 11.4% chance of facing emotional abuse and a 38.4% chance of facing physical abuse. When husbands imposed a single control, these PPs rose to 22.2% and 52.6%, respectively. In other words, the marginal probabilities associated with an additional control, starting from no controls, were 10.8 and 14.2 points for, respectively, emotional and physical abuse. Table 4.5 shows that the marginal probabilities associated with an additional control, starting from one control, were 19.2 and 21.9 points for, respectively, emotional and physical abuse, and the marginal probabilities associated with an additional control, starting from two controls, were 32.1 and 30.2 points for, respectively, emotional and physical abuse. In other words, the marginal probabilities of abuse by husbands, both emotional and physical, were estimated to be an increasing function of the number of controls imposed by them.

In a study of Flindus and Muslims in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Jejeebhoy (1998) found that the most commonly stated cause of beating is disobedience to a husband’s orders or, in other words, a flouting of (husband-imposed) controls. Thus, a lack of autonomy is a major determinant of violence against women: as Levinson (1989) showed, in an ethnographic study of 90 societies, inequality between men and women and male authority and control over decision-making at home was the breeding ground of domestic violence.

Wives’ age

Table 4.5 shows that the youngest wives (in the 15-19 age band) were most vulnerable to emotional abuse, with a PP of 28.9% of facing such abuse. This was significantly higher than the PP of facing emotional abuse by older wives (those who were in the 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, and 35-40 age bands). However, the model predicted that wives in the 20-24 age band had the lowest likelihood of being emotionally abused. This PP was not significantly different from the PP of emotional abuse of wives between the ages of 30 to 40, but it was significantly lower than the PP of emotional abuse of wives in the 40-44 and 45-49 age bands. The conclusion from this is that it was the youngest and the oldest wives - IS to 19 and 40 to 49 - who were most vulnerable to emotional abuse and the least vulnerable were wives between the ages of 20 and 40 years.

In terms of physical abuse, Table 4.5 shows the youngest wives (15-19) had the lowest predicted likelihood of being physically abused (46.9%), and this was significantly lower than the PP for wives between the ages of 20 and 34. At the other end of the scale, Table 4.5 shows that wives in the 30-34 age group were most vulnerable to physical abuse, with a PP of 53.5% of facing such abuse. It may be that women in the 30-34 age group had recently given birth or had very young children and, therefore, were reluctant to have sex with their husbands, and this reluctance met with a violent response.

Wives’ education

Table 4.5 shows that, in terms of the predicted probability of facing emotional abuse, there was no significant difference between wives with no education, with primary education, and with secondary education. It was only for wives with higher education that there was a significant fall in the PP of emotional abuse, from 24.4% for no education to 19.5% for higher education.

In terms of physical abuse, wives with no education or primary education were predicted to have a 54% chance of facing such abuse. There was a significant fall to 48.9% for wives with secondary education and a further significant fall to 44.1% for wives with higher education. 5o, in terms of emotional and physical abuse, wives with higher education were significantly less vulnerable to abuse than wives with no, or little (up to primary level), education.

These results are consistent with other research findings. Babu and Kar (2009), in a study of domestic violence in eastern India, show that the prevalence of violence decreased with an increase in women’s education and in family income. Similarly, Jejeebhoy (1998) found that education played a significant role in protecting wives from spousal violence in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, although this effect was much stronger in the more egalitarian state of Tamil Nadu than in the more traditional patriarchy of Uttar Pradesh. Bates et al. (2004), in a study of rural Bangladesh, point to a link between dowry and education by showing that there was a negative association between a woman’s education and dowry agreement: since dowry disputes were a major source of violence against wives in their spousal homes, there was ipso facto a negative association between women’s education and their exposure to abuse.10

 
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